In our reading this week we encounter a lot of serious topics but the one that I want to focus on is in chapter 12 where Jesus says, “I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matthew 12:36-37 (NLT) The word translated “idle” means careless, useless or empty. The idea Jesus is conveying is that faith needs to deeply impact all of our life if it is real. Our words are a reflection of the values we hold and our informal talk is a real picture of the status of our heart. We have all heard of situations where a public official has been caught saying something they thought was private but got picked up by a hot microphone. Many times their private words are very different than the public ones and reflect their true beliefs. Jesus wants us to know that with God nothing is hidden. Our words, whether spoken or written, are a reflection of who we really are and therefore a valuable tool in evaluating our lives and showing us where we need to change and grow. Here are a few passages that can help us inspect where we are and take positive action:
“The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.” Proverbs 10:32 (NLT)
“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.” Proverbs 12:18-19 (NLT)
“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23 (NLT)
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
What is important to remember here is that those of us who are followers of Jesus should resist making excuses for our careless words and instead pursue excellence as a way to honor our Savior and Lord.
I plan to keep working on this!